Patterico's Pontifications

9/22/2022

Allahpundit’s, er, “Nick’s” New Dispatch Column Has a Name: Boiling Frogs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 am



Allahpundit, whom I am going to have to get used to calling “Nick Catoggio,” has established his newsletter at The Dispatch. It is titled “Boiling Frogs” and I have bookmarked it so that it can be the first thing I read every day. I recommend you do the same. In an introductory post, Nick explains the meaning of the phrase and its relevance to his topic, which will largely be politics in a populist age:

The title of this newsletter, by the way, comes from the urban legend about how frogs supposedly behave when dumped into a pot of water. If the water is boiling, they’ll leap right out. But if the water starts off lukewarm and the temperature rises gradually, the slight incremental changes will be imperceptible moment to moment and the frogs will ultimately boil alive. It’s nonsense, of course; frogs have the good sense to act when an unpleasant environment turns dangerous. We, however, might not.

On that note, I leave you with a question: At what point should a candidate’s illiberalism become disqualifying? Vance is on the ballot in Ohio. Election deniers like Kari Lake and Doug Mastriano are one race away from governing swing states. Trump diehards across the map have been nominated for secretary of state, which would place them in charge of their state’s election machinery in 2024. Trump remains the party’s presumptive nominee for president notwithstanding his coup attempt on January 6, 2021 and his habit of threatening violence if the justice system challenges his belief that he’s above the law. And if he ends up losing the next primary, it’ll only be because Ron DeSantis has convinced Republicans that he’ll be as ruthless in flouting civic norms as Trump would be when prosecuting the culture war.

The temperature of the water is getting hotter. How sure are you that you know what your party’s candidates are capable of? When should a conservative voter leap out of the pot?

Great minds think alike (GMTA), and sometimes, so does mine (ASSDM). In June I wrote a post titled The Boiling Frog which read, in its entirety, as follows:

He called for violence at his rallies! Eh, it’s OK.

He treated the U.S. government like his own personal piggy bank! Eh, it’s OK.

He extorted the president of Ukraine for political favors! Eh, it’s OK.

He refused to accept the results of a fair election! Eh, it’s OK.

He stirred up a mob to invade the Capitol! Eh, it’s OK.

He approved of a mob chanting to kill his Vice President! Eh, it’s OK.

The metaphor of the boiling frog is based on a tale that is not real. A frog placed in water that is gradually heated will jump out before the water reaches the boiling point and kills the frog.

Will we?

And in September 2020, 46 days before the election, I wrote this in the wake of a report that Trump had offered Julian Assange a pardon in exchange for information about the 2016 hacking of Democrats:

Trump fans, you can play your game about the librul media and the sourcing and how Rohrabacher was a rogue agent acting without authorization and the thing. Just go in the corner and keep your voices down. Adults are talking.

Before the frog was boiled, information suggesting that the president had explicitly offered to trade an exercise of his power for political purposes would have stunned the world. In fact, just such a revelation led to this president’s impeachment.

But since, we have learned that members of his party in the Senate will vote to keep him in office regardless of what he does, and he has piled atrocity upon atrocity, so that a staggering betrayal like this just seems like another day. Commute Roger Stone’s sentence so he won’t spill the beans about Trump’s communication with Wikileaks? Yawn. Command your troll of a U.S. Attorney to open an investigation into why your criminality was investigated, with the intent of releasing a “report” (which prosecutors who aren’t special counsels don’t do) just before the election? No big deal.

I’m told real frogs actually jump out as the temperature rises. The boiling frog thing is just a fable. We can still jump out, folks. We have 46 days.

We jumped out, all right. But a lot of people are looking at that water, dipping their little green webbed toes in it, and deciding it just may be time to jump back in.

Note well, I am not accusing AllahNick of stealing my idea; the metaphor is pretty obvious, and he does more with it than I ever did. This is entirely a GMTAASSDM situation.

Nick’s latest, this morning, is about the GOP normies’ embrace of kookism, as evidenced by Glenn Youngkin deciding to campaign for absurd crank and election denier Kari Lake. Nick describes the mutually parasitic relationship of the kooks and the normies with an unforgettable metaphor — unforgettable, that is, if you are old, like Nick and I both are:

The kooks and the normies are engaged in a sort of credibility swap, each leveraging their authority over their respective wing of the party to benefit the other. Which raises the question: If you’re one of the 58 percent who consider yourself more a supporter of the Republican Party than of Donald Trump, which Republican Party do you mean? The one in which Kari Lake is endorsed by Glenn Youngkin or the one in which Glenn Youngkin is endorsed by Kari Lake? How meaningful is that distinction?

Readers of a certain age will recall the old Reese’s commercials. The great philosophical question of whether he got chocolate in her peanut butter or she got peanut butter on his chocolate ultimately doesn’t matter. It’s the same flavor either way.

If I have one issue with the metaphor, it’s that a Reese’s peanut butter cup is delicious, whereas the GOP normies’ embrace of kookism leaves me feeling queasy.

There is plenty of commentary out there that describes the embrace of kookery from a realistic perspective: “Trump fans are a significant part of the party, and one cannot alienate them if one wants to achieve policy goals . . . and after all, what do you want? Democrats in power?” This is the sort of commentary one can expect from a Charles C.W. Cooke or a Dan McLaughlin, both of whom I personally like and whose writing I admire. But I categorically disagree with their approach and see it as short-sighted for the reasons described in Allahpun–er, “Nick’s” most recent post.

I see some folks complain that focusing on the kookery of the Trump wing of the GOP amounts to giving Democrats a free pass. I don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s a matter of putting things in perspective. Trump actually tried to steal an election. That’s kind of a big deal. Literally nothing any national Democrat has done in my lifetime comes close — and I say that as someone who was a lifetime Republican until the very day Ted Cruz withdrew from the 2016 primary race. To compare Trump’s attempted election theft to, say, Joe Biden’s cancellation of student debt — as outrageous and illegal as that is — is to complain about the mote in the Democrats’ eye while ignoring the beam in our own. To paraphrase the advice given in the Sermon on the Mount: GOP, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of the Democrats’ eye.

154 Responses to “Allahpundit’s, er, “Nick’s” New Dispatch Column Has a Name: Boiling Frogs”

  1. Re: ““Trump fans are a significant part of the party, and one cannot alienate them if one wants to achieve policy goals . ” I’m still looking for evidence that this significant part of the party cares about policy in any meaningful way.

    John B Boddie (bee833)

  2. Oh, the realists would admit that they don’t. But they would say that they (the realists themselves) do care about policy — and if you do as well, then you need to accommodate the Trumpers because you can’t win without them.

    Nick argues that crankery that goes as far as election denialism is a sickness and that the bigger issue is ridding the party of that scourge, and short-term gains be damned. I agree with that point of view.

    Patterico (4ebdc8)

  3. Trump’s assaults on the Constitution and rule of law are indeed worse than anything done by any other president in my lifetime. Trumpites would be calling for a firing squad if they had been done by any Democrat. The willingness to defend it all — and attack the people who insist that Trump too must follow the law — shows that a nihilistic cynicism now pervades the GOP.

    Trump and his loyalists have encouraged the view that there’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules to get what you want, and claim you’re just honoring a higher purpose in doing so. Or, that lying about what is plainly before one’s eyes and ears — the violence of J6, or Trump’s theft of government documents and recklessness with classified material, or his mob-style threats, or his generally abysmal character and disordered thinking — is better than yielding a millimeter to one’s political foes, even when they are adhering to the facts and the law.

    Our constitutional system cannot long endure if one major party is characterized by a Trumpian understanding of right and wrong, including the belief that any election it loses is necessarily illegitimate.

    Radegunda (516de3)

  4. Ditto Radegunda. And I love the combination of religion and politics, P.

    DRJ (717b74)

  5. I like his title, Moronic Convergence. This is his 2nd installment in two days, and I hope he keeps up this pace.
    BTW, I’m rooting for the cheeseburger.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  6. Trump’s assaults on the Constitution and rule of law are indeed worse than anything done by any other president in my lifetime.
    Radegunda (516de3) — 9/22/2022 @ 7:38 am

    how’s the weather today in Martha’s Vineyard?

    JF (534c23)

  7. #6 is typical fare peddled by many who struggle in their attempts to minimize what Trump did by pointing out other issues that might cast Democrats in a bad light. Rather than being able to understand or admit that what Trump did was, in fact, unprecedented and threatened our democracy as no other president has, they will scramble to pull something out of their hats of whataboutisms and bright shiny objects.

    Until those Republicans who choose to remain silent in the face of the MAGA takeover of the Republican Party speak out, the Party will remain in its weakened, fractured state.

    Dana (1225fc)

  8. Trump and his loyalists have encouraged the view that there’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules to get what you want, and claim you’re just honoring a higher purpose in doing so. Or, that lying about what is plainly before one’s eyes and ears — the violence of J6, or Trump’s theft of government documents and recklessness with classified material, or his mob-style threats, or his generally abysmal character and disordered thinking — is better than yielding a millimeter to one’s political foes, even when they are adhering to the facts and the law.

    In this new topsy-turvy order, a reckless willingness to destroy political norms has become the golden ticket for Trump loyalists. MAGA voters are drawn to candidates who demonstrate, either verbally or in action, that they want “fighters” who eschew rules and protocols because their brash disregard is seen as a strength. Diplomacy, compromise, and respect for institutions and established norms are seen as a weakness. It’s the new litmus test for the right.

    Dana (1225fc)

  9. I’ve predicted that none of the Never-Trump professional political types -consultants, journalists, candidates for office, etc.- will find a future GOP nominee tolerable, either. And, sure enough, we now read about how DeSantis and Youngkin are unacceptable for this or that reason (such as that they are campaigning for other Republican nominees for office).

    We’re seeing policy views change, too, in response to the party change. (Again, I cannot recommend Democracy for Realists enough, which explains this phenomenon.) Of course, many of these journalists/consultants/candidates also have a new set of professional incentives. Democratic donors or readers or voters don’t want to read about how you are pro-life, for example. So you in effect stop being pro-life and instead attack pro-lifers, despite having apparently been pro-life, and represented yourself as pro-life, for a long time.

    I do think that ordinary voters are slightly different, as we saw with Youngkin and see with DeSantis. Some voters will have left the GOP forever over Trump. Of course, some left the party forever over Bush or Nixon or whomever. That is regrettable, but part of the normal cycle of party politics. But I think for most, say, Romney voters, the pull of identity (the driver of party ID- see again DFR in the link above) will bring them back to the GOP. We saw that in Virginia with Youngkin, who was opposed by the professional Never-Trump class but appeared to win the ‘Romney Republican’ type.

    mikeybates (dd20f5)

  10. The challenge is: what changes the current GOP narrative and shuffles the polling numbers? Lots of Republicans still prefer Trump over the entire field. Staying silent and talking about Biden does not address the orange elephant in the room. The question is what can be said to them or what has to happen to start actually moving the needle. Will an indictment change anything or will people just dig in firmer and create even more fanatical what-aboutism? People that maybe should read Nick dismiss him. Every argument is met with some excuse.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  11. Boiling Frogs suggests an appetizer favorite from a Pierre Delecto cookbook.

    Flight 401 is a better fit.

    DCSCA (473568)

  12. Trump’s assaults on the Constitution and rule of law are indeed worse than anything done by any other president in my lifetime.

    ROFLMAO You must be very young– or suffer Biden Block:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh163n1lJ4M&t=1s

    DCSCA (473568)

  13. @10. ‘Lots of Republicans still prefer Rocky over the entire field. Staying silent and talking about LBJ does not address the Goldwater in the room.’ FIFY. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (473568)

  14. I am not very young and I do not have Biden Block. Trump is the worst because he undermines the bedrock principles if our nation: The things that make the American system work. The things Goldwater and Reagan understood and talked about, but Trump trashes daily.

    DRJ (717b74)

  15. There are two types of pretend “conservatives” I have no use for:

    1. A Trump Conservative: Doesn’t care what the policy is, or what the man does. Calls whatever it is “conservative.”

    2. An Anti-Trump Conservative: Will oppose anyone, regardless of policy, who doesn’t denounce Trump in the harshest terms. Will support anyone, regardless of policy, who does such denouncing.

    Trump delenda est, but until then policies matter and to call one’s self a conservative one has to support those — whoever they are — who support conservative policies, and oppose those who don’t.

    This can lead to stressful decisions, especially on matters where Trump is right and the opponent is not only wrong but terribly so. To me, a conservative has to choose the path that leads to the more correct policy result, personalities be damned.

    YMMV.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  16. Election deniers like Kari Lake and Doug Mastriano are one race away from governing swing states. Trump diehards across the map have been nominated for secretary of state, which would place them in charge of their state’s election machinery in 2024. Trump remains the party’s presumptive nominee for president notwithstanding his coup attempt on January 6, 2021 and his habit of threatening violence if the justice system challenges his belief that he’s above the law.

    This comes from a perspective that assumes that the Trumpists have no cause for what they believe; that outright lunacy has captured a large part of the American public. Examine this from another perspective: THEY DON’T TRUST YOU OR A WORD YOU SAY and they have good reason for that.

    Until we decide to stop snarling at each other and find some common ground (Trump isn’t helping either) we will remain disunited and the Left will eat our food and be living in our houses.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  17. Dr. oz pays drug addicts to shoot up on camera to film political commercial! (tyt)

    asset (436637)

  18. I see some folks complain that focusing on the kookery of the Trump wing of the GOP amounts to giving Democrats a free pass. I don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s a matter of putting things in perspective. Trump actually tried to steal an election. That’s kind of a big deal. Literally nothing any national Democrat has done in my lifetime comes close

    The Electoral Count Act revision, which many seem to worship, does exactly this, by statute. It gives Congress — by pure majoritarianism — the ability to negate a valid electoral count if the victor “engaged in insurrection.” Left untested is

    1) Does the 14th Amendment apply today?
    2) Did it ever apply to the President or Vice President?
    3) What standard of proof is required?
    4) What crimes qualify?

    By putting this where it is, as a majoritarian political decision, these questions become non-justiciable and can be answered however the majorities in Congress want to answer them. It is unarguable that this section was added IN ANTICIPATION of denying Trump a valid electoral vote victory.

    tl;dr: Civil wars are no fun.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. * 1) Does this clause in the 14th Amendment apply today?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  20. Dana (1225fc) — 9/22/2022 @ 8:35 am

    here’s your “whataboutisms and bright shiny objects”

    JF (1995fe)

  21. Thank you, Patterico, for this post. Thank you, Dana, DRJ, Kevin M, and Radegunda for your comments. I think that what you stand for is more important than what you stand against. The latter is reflexive. The former speaks to the central core of ethos of a person.

    By the way, the folks over at AOS are getting progressively (!) nastier every day.

    Nietzsche comes to mind about staring into the abyss.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  22. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 9/22/2022 @ 12:20 pm

    Well said, Kevin M.

    felipe (484255)

  23. Simon Jester (c8876d) — 9/22/2022 @ 12:53 pm

    I second that.

    felipe (484255)

  24. “Trump is the worst because he undermines the bedrock principles if our nation”

    Listening to the people who worked with him, it sounds like he’s mostly seat-of-the-pants and does not do much homework….that leads to some recklessness….like taking us out of NATO and potentially S. Korea too. But foremost everything’s about him….so anyone who opposes him becomes an enemy. It’s why the GOP is now programmed to oppose the FBI. It’s why we’re now talking about massive replacements of civil service. He wants an autocracy…or some version of one. I don’t want to become Hungary.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  25. We’ll be lucky if Hungary is where we end up. Think, instead, Argentina.

    aphrael (d9db76)

  26. > To me, a conservative has to choose the path that leads to the more correct policy result, personalities be damned.

    Does the correct policy result matter more or less than ensuring that we don’t become a corrupt authoritarian state in which the government is the plaything and toy of whoever is able to capture it at any given time?

    aphrael (d9db76)

  27. Allahpundit, whom I am going to have to get used to calling “Nick Catoggio

    Why don’t you call him “Boiling Frogs” after his column? People will remember that and find that better than Nick Ca-what.

    It’s semi-anonymous, like Allahpundit, easier to remember, and it is not unknown for someone to be called after the name of his work.

    Many Jewish religious writers (and even some non-religious writers) are known after the titles of their works.

    The Chofetz Chaim. Mendele Mocher Sforim and there are other pen names, like Sholem Aleichem and Mark Twain.

    Even you yourself use one.

    Who knows Patrick F?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. At what point should a candidate’s illiberalism become disqualifying?

    When it becomes dangerous – or might have real world effects.

    That depends on the office and the balance of power.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  29. “We’ll be lucky if Hungary is where we end up. Think, instead, Argentina.”

    Don’t sell the Biden Bunch short, they’d F-up a cup of coffee. I’d say we end up like Zimbabwe.

    Colonel Haiku (aa3954)

  30. @14. That’s a bottom of the deck lament from a rejected ideology by the majority of the electorate; keep in mind:

    More Americans voted for Donald Trump this year [2020] than in 2016

    President Trump received more votes in the 2020 presidential election than he did in the 2016 presidential election as Joe Biden also surpassed the 2016 vote total for Hillary Clinton. This is the result of a surge in voter turnout as compared to 2016, even amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 232,000 Americans. Trump in 2020… received the votes of more than 67 million Americans. He got approximately 63 million votes in 2016…

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/more-americans-voted-for-donald-trump-this-year-than-in-2016

    And the rest backed thew likes of Squinty and HRC. Kinda puts AuH20 and Ronnieswooners out of the game in the 21st century.

    The Big Dick was by far the worst; as history shows; in terms of the legendary cries for ‘rule of law’– just review how many of his administration went to the pokie; but in terms of policy, he’s got a close rival in Swampy Joe.

    EXECUTIVE BRANCH CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES BY PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION

    ADMINISTRATION PARTY YEARS IN OFFICE INDICTMENTS CONVICTIONS PRISON SENTENCE
    BARACK OBAMA Democratic 8 0 0 0
    GEORGE W. BUSH Republican 8 16 16 9
    BILL CLINTON Democratic 8 2 1 1
    GEORGE HW BUSH Republican 4 1 1 1
    RONALD REAGAN Republican 8 26 16 8
    JIMMY CARTER Democratic 4 1 0 0
    GERALD FORD Republican 2.4 1 1 1
    RICHARD NIXON Republican 5.6 76 55 15

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/11/1619079/-Comparing-Presidential-Administrations-by-Arrests-and-Convictions-A-Warning-for-Trump-Appointees

    Watergate Casualties and Convictions

    In the aftermath of Richard Nixon’s resignation, Watergate continued to claim victims.

    The final toll included:

    -one presidential resignation
    -one vice-presidential resignation – although Agnew’s crimes were unrelated to Watergate
    -40 government officials indicted or jailed
    -H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman (White House staff), resigned 30 April 1973, subsequently jailed
    -John Dean (White House legal counsel), sacked 30 April 1973, subsequently jailed
    -John Mitchell, Attorney-General and Chairman of the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), jailed
    -Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy (ex-White House staff), planned the Watergate break-in, both jailed
    -Charles Colson, special counsel to the President, jailed
    -James McCord (Security Director of CREEP), jailed

    https://watergate.info/analysis/casualties-and-convictions

    DCSCA (326f08)

  31. This should get your frog boiling:

    Biden gets lost walking off stage after UN speech

    ‘Joe Biden, 79, faced yet another public embarrassment Wednesday evening when he appeared to get lost while walking off stage following his remarks at the Global Fund Conference. As applause ensued, President Biden began walking off the stage before abruptly stopping in his tracks and looking around with an appearance of confusion on his face.’ – dailymail.com

    “You know Marcus, he got lost once in his own museum.” ― Indiana Jones [Harrison Ford] ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ 1989

    … and Putin smiled; Xi just grinned… while all of Taiwan gulped.

    DCSCA (326f08)

  32. Boiling Frogs:

    They question her motives because they’re keen to assure themselves that she hasn’t actually behaved selflessly by defying Trump—rather, that she’s gained by doing so.

    Questioning of motives (or possibly questioning of understanding) also goes on with regard to immigration.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  33. He wants an autocracy…or some version of one.

    He wants asses kicked, incompetents fired; bureaucrats dismissed; successes rewarded; failures swept aside, stupid wars stopped and the swamp drained. It’s raging populism; it why he got more votes the second cycle than the first. And it’s not going away anytime soon- even if you remove him, somebody else will pick up the standard. Are you prepared for a President DeSantis? My commitment is w/Nikki, but if Trump runs- and he likely will- one of those two may get the second spot. My hope is it’s Haley.

    DCSCA (326f08)

  34. 17.asset (436637) — 9/22/2022 @ 12:32 pm

    Dr. oz pays drug addicts to shoot up on camera to film political commercial! (tyt)

    Not to film a political commercial, but back in 2017 to use in a documentary.

    One addict said Dr. Oz gave him money so he could have heroin to shoot up on camera, and promised him he would get him into rehab, but he never did a thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  35. The democrat party establishments number one goal is keeping the sanders/AOC and the party’s left base from taking over the party. Fighting trump and his maggots is 1-B. The party’s establishment and donor class loathe the maggots ;but are no threat to the wealthy corporate donor class. Sanders/AOC and the left base are! In the movie hondo the democrat establishment are trying to negotiate with the maggot terrorist played by richard boone. AOC played by paul newman ask boone a question as he points a gun at him. “How you going to get back down the hill?”

    asset (436637)

  36. Off topic for Simon:

    I am reading a book by David Quammen. It is really good. Do you think he is worth reading?

    DRJ (717b74)

  37. > He wants asses kicked, incompetents fired; bureaucrats dismissed; successes rewarded; failures swept aside, stupid wars stopped and the swamp drained.

    That’s what the populists want. What *he* wants is for anyone who will stand up to him in any way fired and replaced by those who will toe the line and follow his current whim, regardless of what it is. The rule of law can go, as can any policy consistency that deviates from what his id demands at any given moment.

    The thing that terrifies me is that he will have to get what he wants and have it turn very very bad (which anyone who looks at him objectively can see will happen if he gets what he wants) before the populists realize he is a bad bet — and by then the cost of fixing it will be astronomical, if it can be fixed at all.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  38. Judging by the people who worked for him before politics, all he cares about is hiring people who massage his ego — and not paying them if he can get away with it. He doesn’t care about quality products or services. He doesn’t care about waste if he gets the perks. He talks the talk but never walks the walk that populist say they care about.

    Which is why I think Trump supporters are wannabe lottery winners who envy his lifestyle more than they care about America.

    DRJ (717b74)

  39. @37. That’s what the populists want.

    And they’ll keep striving for it– and if he’s the vessel to tact port or starboard to move the flag forward more, they’ll go along for the ride. The so called ‘rule of law’ has been dead since the days of the Pentagon Papers and the Big Dick; lest you foreget:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh163n1lJ4M&t=1s

    People have had it with these costly, deadly incompetent old boobs. If his numbers had decreased in 2020 over 2016, you might be able to pitch a valid POV; but the opposite occurred; his numbers grew— and he was impeacxhed twice! . That should tell you a lot– that American voters are angry and tired of all this crap; of neocons, and wastged lives, costly conflicts and dummies rationalizing failures. They’re angry. And neither party podium is safe– he’s made that clear. If he drowns the current allegator and its babies in the swamp it’ll be all the more a redemption. His populist candidates are winning– and cynically backed/financed by the very swamp creatures which oppose them. Voters see it. If they’re motivated, they’ll go to the polls. And if the abortion rights hell hath no fury as a woman scorned contingency votes, the GOP will take a hit– by their own foolish timing, not by Trump’s hand. But populism is on the march– and not stopping any time soon. The old ‘normal’ is dead.

    DCSCA (16e018)

  40. Which is why I think Trump supporters are wannabe lottery winners who envy his lifestyle more than they care about America.

    It’s called The American Dream.

    DCSCA (16e018)

  41. Nietzsche comes to mind about staring into the abyss.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pci3TUFwCfg

    DCSCA (16e018)

  42. No less an authority than the Oxford English Dictionary defines the American dream as “the ideal that every citizen of the United States should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.”

    DRJ (717b74)

  43. @42. Luck helps, too… and that def covers ‘lottery winners who envy his lifestyle.’

    A hot blonde wife or two, a cool mistress, your own building in Manhattan, golf courses, a jet, a helicopter or two– and a hit TV show.

    Yeah.

    If you’re just off the third shift at Firestone, perched on a bar stool in Akron, Ohio sipping a Stroh’s, watchin’ the Browns because you can’t afford tickets to the game… and waitin’ for the evening lottery number draws from Columbus because your ’92 Ford Crown Victoria couldn’t make it to Cleveland anyway and needs new radials for the winter, Trump’s American dream looks pretty damn good.

    DCSCA (d31c5f)

  44. Does the correct policy result matter more or less than ensuring that we don’t become a corrupt authoritarian state in which the government is the plaything and toy of whoever is able to capture it at any given time?
    aphrael (d9db76) — 9/22/2022 @ 1:36 pm

    lol is this supposed to be a hypothetical?

    i don’t think the government as plaything or toy bothers nevertrump

    what bothers nevertrump is if the government ceases to be their plaything and toy

    JF (9646a8)

  45. “People have had it with these costly, deadly incompetent old boobs”

    Says the 70yr-old man about the 79yr-old man while extolling the virtues of a 76-old man. Old past-their-date boobs indeed.

    AJ_Liberty (242c56)

  46. Are you prepared for a President DeSantis? My commitment is w/Nikki, but if Trump runs- and he likely will- one of those two may get the second spot. My hope is it’s Haley.

    DCSCA (326f08) — 9/22/2022 @ 3:06 pm

    Pin -> Balloon:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-criticized-pelosi-nikki-haley-women-politicians-their-looks-book-2022-9

    urbanleftbehind (fc2d79)

  47. Dana (1225fc) — 9/22/2022 @ 8:35 am

    here’s your “whataboutisms and bright shiny objects”

    JF (1995fe) — 9/22/2022 @ 12:50 pm

    As if being bad makes something any less a whatabout. Guess what: most whatabouts are bad. That’s why people think they can use them to change the subject. Like you’re continuing to do now.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  48. JF – I understand that’s the argument, but it doesn’t hold water, as much as you’d like it to.

    Look at the difference between Cannon and the 11th circuit, or between Cannon and Dearie, and this will illuminate what i’m talking about: nevertrump conservatives want a world full of people like Dearie and the 11th circuit, and Trump and his supporters want a world full of people like Cannon.

    A government staffed by clones of Cannon would be a disaster, and it would mean the end of the rule of law *for the rest of our lifetimes*, because the rule of law is hard to build and, once destroyed, doesn’t come back easily.

    Yeah, it’ll be a party as long as ya’ll are the people goring the ox, but it won’t stay that way, *particularly* with Trump at the head — the ox that gets gored will be whatever ox he is unhappy with on any given day.

    Authoritarian dictatorships can be stunningly successful for a decade or two, and then they are a painful disaster that takes long struggle and sacrifice to get rid of. Is that the world you want for yourself and your children?

    aphrael (d9db76)

  49. @46. Follow the telephone source chain– then yank it. Just like Thomas Crapper.

    DCSCA (b4e19c)

  50. @45. Not an office holder, Agarn; with age comes wisdom; something you have to look forward to.

    DCSCA (b4e19c)

  51. aphrael (d9db76) — 9/22/2022 @ 6:36 pm

    i don’t accept the false premises laden in your comment, nor the begging the question fallacy at the end of it

    we have more than one Cannon on the supreme court, and they aren’t Trump’s picks

    you can use Rule of Law (TM) as a mantra all you like, go ahead, but do you really want to deport all the illegals?

    JF (de8fd7)

  52. #43 If you can find a Stroh’s or a Firestone Plant in Akron, you got a time machine. And that means that Crown Victoria is just off the assembly line (though it might still be rusting out because of all the salt on the roads)

    Appalled (e407d4)

  53. @52. Never forget: A buckeye is a useless nut.

    DCSCA (b4e19c)

  54. Trump fans here seem like cynical folks. Not much hope in their worlds. I think that is how it is for many Americans. It shouldn’t be. America is about real hope.

    And it is interesting how illegal immigration always crops up. I think many people see immigrants as taking their jobs and thus their hope, but we used to aim higher than the jobs immigrants typically do

    DRJ (717b74)

  55. DRJ (717b74) — 9/22/2022 @ 7:38 pm

    illegal immigration is, by its name, a Rule of Law (TM) issue

    are hope and cynicism legal concepts?

    JF (fdc1bc)

  56. Dear DRJ at #36… It took me a while to see you post, since there was a lot of, well, noise. Oh well.

    David Quammen is a fine person and skilled wordsmith. I have spoken with him once or twice, and I was completely surprised when he quoted one of my articles in a recent book of his! I don’t know which one you have been reading, but I really enjoy his books.

    You have my email if you would like to chat at any point. I continue to think the world of you.

    Simon Jester (947aa5)

  57. And it is interesting how illegal immigration always crops up. I think many people see immigrants as taking their jobs and thus their hope, but we used to aim higher than the jobs immigrants typically do

    DRJ (717b74) — 9/22/2022 @ 7:38 pm

    Huh, so much for the “dignity of work.” Funny what happens when the peon labor the Chamber of Commerce types kept demanding be imported to “do the jobs Americans won’t do,” suddenly decides during a pandemic that it’s far less interested in being chattel for the bourgeoisie and doesn’t rush back to being mules like they’re expected to be. Maybe like the Sheriff of Bexar, it would be good to learn how to exercise some patience and wait a few extra minutes for your food at Chili’s, or start talking about welfare or economic reform that will incentivize the people who are already here to go back to work, immigrant and otherwise, rather than allow the socio-economic version of a Ponzi scheme to continue.

    And speaking of the good Sheriff, maybe he should be a little more worried about what’s going on in his own backyard instead of what the governor of Florida is doing in his. From the Daily Fail:

    A 3-year-old girl who survived a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has been missing for nine months since she vanished from a playground by her family’s apartment.

    Lina Sardar Khil, 3, was last seen at a playground inside the San Antonio-based and gated Villas Del Cabo apartment complex in December 2021.

    The San Antonio Police Department does not have any witnesses or tangible evidence in her disappearance, according to The New York Times.

    This is a girl who managed to escape the Taliban with her family, only to get stolen from them for doing nothing more than playing in the playground at her apartment complex. Having lived in San Antonio for two years, I can attest to the fact that it’s an absolute slough of human trafficking. One of the more delightful features of living there was the neighborhood Facebook page constantly posting warnings about creepers following women and young girls in HEB, and story after story on the news about someone being kidnapped, especially little kids. I went to school in Aurora, Colorado during the early 90s when east Denver and Aurora was infested by gang violence, and I felt safer during that time than I ever did in San Antonio.

    Also, like Charles Barkley said, the Riverwalk is just a dirty old creek.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  58. Which is why I think Trump supporters are wannabe lottery winners who envy his lifestyle more than they care about America.

    DRJ (717b74) — 9/22/2022 @ 4:42 pm

    I hear much the same assessment at academic conferences that are dominated by neo-marxist professors and their intellectual progeny. It’s really nothing more than a smug pejorative that isn’t worth taking at face value, no matter which side of the political aisle it comes from, but it does reveal a deep frustration that the proles aren’t as easily leashed as both sides wish they were.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  59. Trump is a corrupt democrat and took over an empty morally bankrupt shell. Conservative ideas work for the wealthy and neo-cons not the working class. Ask a working class person do you want to privatize or get rid of social security and do away with government socialism like medicare and medicade? And use the money for tax cuts that will mostly help the rich? The working class says NO! The wealthy donor class says yes! The 16 conservative republicans who ran on free trade and letting corporations send their workers jobs out of the country like lying ted cruz couldn’t figure out why only the donor class and neo-con conservatives were the only ones voting for them and not the working class. At least most of the posters now realize trump voters are populists not conservatives and call them that. If trump was a reagan conservative and not quasi democrat populist he would not have carried (barely) the mid west (thanks to jill stein GP) and won the 2016 election. As for getting more votes in 2020 that was because more people were alowd to vote.

    asset (e579b3)

  60. FWO: What things would you change about America and especially the American legal and economic system?

    DRJ (717b74)

  61. Simon

    Thank you for your comment. It is always a pleasure. I read The Chimp and The River and am starting Spillover.

    DRJ (717b74)

  62. I don’t agree that Trump is a populist, asset, although he has certainly embraced populist ideas and rhetoric. Populism pits average people against elites so it is always a crowd pleaser, especially with mainstream Republicans who have spent the past decade legitimately complaining about being abandoned or betrayed by their elite leaders.

    Trump is brilliant at identifying populist issues and presenting them in ways that resonate with people. But he is an authoritarian and an elite one at that. Authoritarians are despots, which is why Trump identifies with so many foreign despots. Authoritarians/despots often espouse populist ideas to gain power but they are the antithesis of populists and why so many populist movements end in failure.

    DRJ (717b74)

  63. You had it right the first time, when you wrote:

    Which is why I think Trump supporters are wannabe lottery winners who envy his lifestyle more than they care about America.

    If you be a po’ white boy, lookin’ to get hisself a different daddy cause you found out that the world is not yore mommy, wouldn’t you want a rich one? And a hot-looking new stepmom to boot?

    nk (b9267d)

  64. Oops, sorry, that was to DRJ. Good morning, DRJ!

    nk (b9267d)

  65. #6 is typical fare peddled by many who struggle in their attempts to minimize what Trump did by pointing out other issues that might cast Democrats in a bad light. Rather than being able to understand or admit that what Trump did was, in fact, unprecedented and threatened our democracy as no other president has, they will scramble to pull something out of their hats of whataboutisms and bright shiny objects.

    Until those Republicans who choose to remain silent in the face of the MAGA takeover of the Republican Party speak out, the Party will remain in its weakened, fractured state.

    Dana (1225fc) — 9/22/2022 @ 8:35 am

    Or we know what you are saying is absurd hyperbole and completely irrational. There was zero chance of changing the vote. There was no insurrection. There was a brief protest and a few people engaged in violence who should be arrested and tried. But all those that have been unjustly imprisoned for the crime of parading is a joke and shows our criminal justice system is no longer blind or unbiased.

    As for leftist pundit, he’s just another Charles Johnson who is a broken man still grifting on a handful of previous positions while supporting leftists to higher office.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  66. FWO: What things would you change about America and especially the American legal and economic system?

    DRJ (717b74) — 9/23/2022 @ 3:15 am

    This seems a rather clumsy dodge to being called out on your own elitist comments, a development that even you admit was justified because the GOP’s leadership refused to actually listen to their own voters. The NeverTrumper commenters here tend to marinate in similar pretenses, mostly out of sour grapes because they aren’t the ones running the GOP anymore.

    Populism doesn’t emerge in a vacuum, and when it does, the same thing happens every time because people refuse to learn from past experiences (in no small part in this age because modern culture tends to denigrate everything that came before it). The elites refuse to listen when the proles have legitimate complaints, the proles start pushing back and responding to leaders within the same elite arenas who do actually listen, and instead of modifying their perceptions or behavior so that such leaders don’t gain more credibility with the proles, the elites instead blame the proles for not continuing to know their place.

    None of the events of the last five years or so happen if the neocon faction of the GOP had actually taken the base’s legitimate grievances seriously. Instead, they were dismissed, and the final straw was the party elites lining up in 2016 behind someone whose family name was still considered politically toxic, as the candidate expected to take on one of the most unlike candidates in American electoral history in what should have been a winnable election with someone who would aggressively promote what the party voters were seeking. It’s no coincidence AT ALL that Trump declared the VERY NEXT DAY after Jeb did; if he had stayed on the sidelines, the possibility is very high that Trump never runs, either.

    Trump never would have taken over as the face of the GOP if the party’s leaders had listened to their voters back at home instead of their media pundits and political lobbyist buddies in DC and New York City. Their firm ensconcement in the culture of the Acela corridor produced a sclerosis that led them to believe that just saying, “Yeah, you might not be happy with him, but at least he’s not a Democrat” would continue to provide enough justification to support those leaders, over someone who at least acknowledged that they weren’t being listened to, and that unlike them, he would. And not only would he listen, he would be their defender, sticking his thumb in the eye of everyone who smugly looked down on them for not being “sophisticated” enough to share the same views as the elite and “voting against their own interests,” the ultimate expression of political sour grapes.

    This isn’t anything new; it’s SOP in populist movements going back to the Romans. But instead of learning from the experiences of the past, the elites tell themselves, “Don’t worry, it will be different this time.” No wonder they indulge in spite and rejection-obsessed behavior in the aftermath of being rebuked for failing, yet again, to understand why populism was gaining ground and they got kicked to the curb.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  67. Until those Republicans who choose to remain silent in the face of the MAGA takeover of the Republican Party speak out, the Party will remain in its weakened, fractured state.

    Dana (1225fc) — 9/22/2022 @ 8:35 am

    Maybe your faction should have and should have had, the humility to acknowledge that it was your failure to listen that led to the takeover in the first place, and offer a specific vision of what the GOP should be in this era, instead of simply “Stop supporting Trump.” And if the GOP voters don’t like that vision, then you’re going to have to accept that it will never be your party again.

    Evolution applies to political movements just as much as it does biological development–adapt or be left behind. So why should GOP voters choose your faction over Trump, when your faction doesn’t even take their concerns seriously?

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  68. Factory Working Orphan (bce27d) — 9/23/2022 @ 5:37 am

    Funny, because you dodged DRJ’s question while accusing him of a “rather clumsy dodge”.
    I didn’t see one sentence about what you would “change about America and especially the American legal and economic system”.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  69. Funny, because you dodged DRJ’s question while accusing him of a “rather clumsy dodge”.
    I didn’t see one sentence about what you would “change about America and especially the American legal and economic system”.

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 6:05 am

    I’m not going to bother answering a question that never engaged what I originally wrote; it’s nothing more than an attempt to change the subject and redirect the attention away from what actually caused Trump to take over the party in the first place, which is what is supposedly your side’s primary complaint.

    Not surprising that someone whose primary methodology is to make the argument all about me would complain that I refused to make it about me. My four-year-old displays more maturity.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  70. Non-responsive, FWO.
    Clearly you’d rather soapbox than offer anything constructive or substantive.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  71. Here’s another example of Trump fighting the elites:

    While former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC claims that its donors will be “the Patriots who SAVED AMERICA,” it has been discovered that much of the PAC’s money is being used for Trump’s personal expenses, including payments to his wife Melania Trump’s fashion designer.

    The Save America PAC released its financial disclosures for August on Tuesday, and Washington Post reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker noted on Twitter that the PAC listed an $18,000 payment to Herve Pierre Braillard for “strategy consulting.” A fashion designer for multiple previous first ladies, Braillard has styled Melania Trump for a number of years, and helped design the dress that she wore at the 2017 Inaugural Ball.

    I hope none of the Trumpistas who show up here regularly sent money went to that cause.

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  72. Hi nk!

    FWO: “This seems a rather clumsy dodge to being called out on your own elitist comments, a development that even you admit was justified because the GOP’s leadership refused to actually listen to their own voters.”

    I ignore your insults because they are so boring. Persist if you like. I plan to talk about issues and ideas.

    DRJ (717b74)

  73. Non-responsive, FWO.
    Clearly you’d rather soapbox than offer anything constructive or substantive.

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 6:25 am

    Yes, I’m sure it’s frustrating when people refuse to indulge your attempts at making things personal, instead of exercising any self-examination on your own part or demonstrating an awareness of how the whole situation came about, and why.

    Your political faction is like an emotionally abusive spouse who acts shocked when their significant other says one day they want a divorce, and then blames the significant other for the relationship falling apart, rather than exercise any sort of self-awareness as to their own role in it ending and accepting responsibility for it.

    Factory Working Orphan (262b9b)

  74. I ignore your insults because they are so boring. Persist if you like. I plan to talk about issues and ideas.

    DRJ (717b74) — 9/23/2022 @ 7:03 am

    “My insults are justified, anyone who takes exception doesn’t merit consideration.”

    Factory Working Orphan (262b9b)

  75. FWIW FWO, I didn’t intend to be elitist in my comment. I play the lottery sometimes when it is big. I dream of winning and what stupid, Trump-like things I might do or buy. Many years as go, I hoped to win because I needed more basic things so I understand the desperation that comes from needing things and having little hope of getting them.

    I think there are Americans who feel that desperation and have become cynical about their futures rather than hopeful. IMO part of that is just how some people react to life, but for most it is a result of people who want to work but can’t get the jobs they want. The workplace has changed and lifetime employment at one company isn’t the norm now.

    DRJ (717b74)

  76. Populism emerges because there will always be tension, anger, and envy directed by the have not against the haves. The names may change but the reasons never do.

    DRJ (717b74)

  77. Yes, I’m sure it’s frustrating when people refuse to indulge your attempts at making things personal…

    Personal? I’m just asking you to answer a question, and your only response is ranting and turning it back on the questioner. I don’t know why this is so hard for you.

    I would like to hear what you would “change about America and especially the American legal and economic system”. Try to do it without invoking a civil war or “national divorce”.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  78. I am interested in what you would change, too, FWO. What works better and why?

    DRJ (717b74)

  79. Paul – I’ll give you a quick thought, since FWO won’t: In my opinion, our worst domestic problem is the weakening of the American family. Unfortunately, that is also a problem that is difficult for governments to address, except at the margins.

    Here’s an extreme example: In my opinion, were some enterprising reporter to investigate, he or she would find that very few of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims had fathers in their lives. Those girls did not have the protection that fathers have traditionally provided*.

    Epstein was so open about what he was doing that he could have been caught far sooner. But that wouldn’t have done much for the millions of other girls, also without fathers, who weren’t his targets, but were targets of other men (and some women).

    Men who have what you could call Hugh Hefner values — for example, Donald Trump — are unfit to serve as examples of how to build strong families. Especially if they flaunt their misbehavior.

    (*You have probably heard the old story about the boy who comes to the girl’s home for a first date. While he is waiting for the girl to finish getting ready, her father questions him — while cleaning a gun. I don’t doubt that, or something similar, sometimes happened.)

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  80. #53 — I grew up having to pick those things out of the back yard so I agree. At least in my current home, you can eat the pecans that rain down on us. (Though the squirrels usually get them).

    Appalled (bebaad)

  81. DRJ – Lottery tickets occasionally have a positive expected values. (That can happen when a prize accumulates over time, perhaps once or twice a year.) So, they aren’t necessarily a bad investment.

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  82. Sigh! Trump couldn’t change a lightbulb.

    Could he effect change? Sure! But only the way a baby makes him him mom change his diaper. We’re seeing some of that now.

    nk (b9267d)

  83. Jim Miller,

    > our worst domestic problem is the weakening of the American family.

    One of the things that I am curious about is, how can we *strengthen* the American family without either:

    * trapping children in seriously abusive domestic environments that they can’t easily escape from because the way we strengthened the family had the result of making it more difficult for the abused *parent* to get out of the relationship (either by interposing legal or financial barriers or by interposing social sanction against divorce)

    * pushing people who want to form families that don’t fit traditional family structures to the margins, and trapping young people who want to form such families in traditional marriages which would be wildly successful for most people but which would be absolutely miserable for them.

    I’m interested in these because both apply to me, and a lot of the conservative rhetoric around families lands for me as telling me that I personally would be better off if my mother had *stayed* with the men who physically abused her and emotionally abused her and me, which is just not the case.

    (To be clear, while I care about both, the *first* matters a lot more to me — because those of us who form alternative family arrangements are a much smaller percentage of the population than those of us who grow up scarred by abuse in childhood, unfortunately).

    aphrael (d9db76)

  84. him him mom his mom

    nk (b9267d)

  85. DRJ: ” Populism pits average people against elites so it is always a crowd pleaser, especially with mainstream Republicans who have spent the past decade legitimately complaining about being abandoned or betrayed by their elite leaders.”

    I would like to hear this flushed out a bit because it always sounds like an over-reaction to me. Certainly immigration reform has been stymied, but it falls into the realm of what is possible through legislation. Democrats want some form of pathway to citizenship. Neither side seems particularly interested in heavily prosecuting business owners who use illegals as labor. There needs to be compromise where each sides gets some of what they want. We no longer talk about that (neither side). We somehow believe that we can ram through legislation and we are moving toward that with talk of eliminating the filibuster rules. The other brewing dynamic is this idea of the imperial or authoritarian President who just does things (Exec Orders) and leave it to the courts to push back. And now we’re talking about packing the courts to get our political results that we gotta have.

    The cycle is just producing more and more tension because it’s all based on a false premise that big things can happen without compromise and working with the other side. That’s why I just shake my head when FWO focuses on fighting the culture war. He acknowledges that there are no winners and no end to it. It does just harden attitudes and make compromise less and less possible. It makes it easier to demonize the other side and retreat to your bubble. I will agree that we will always have political questions of what we do about abortion, guns, God, drugs, public education, and questions of culture. I just don’t think we should shut down Congress because we can’t accept pluralism and states and individuals doing things in different ways.

    This is why allowing the bases to drive the agendas is wrong…..and why the media’s focus on the bases is wrong….and why killing off the moderates is wrong. The hard right think they won the abortion war by reversing Roe, until they found out that 60% of most state populations aren’t looking for a 100% ban. They failed to actually see if they’ve persuaded enough people. They don’t care. They want something and don’t care if others don’t want it. The same goes on the Left. Trump just reflects this somewhat unrealistic and childish attitude. We have to get back to understanding how our system has been designed to work….and decide whether we want to keep it or move to authoritarianism…….as DCCCP babbles…..DECIDE

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  86. Jim Miller (85fd03) — 9/23/2022 @ 7:21 am

    i don’t think Trump has disowned and neglected any of his grandchildren, unlike your man demented joe

    JF (9646a8)

  87. And as the Dow heads Soutrh to 29,600 and falling—

    88% Of Americans Say U.S. Is On Wrong Track

    A stunning 88% of Americans now believe the U.S. is on the wrong track and just 10% believe it is on the right track, according to a new poll from the Monmouth University Polling Institute, marking an all-time low for the question…

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/darreonnadavis/2022/07/05/88-of-americans-say-us-is-on-wrong-track/?sh=11c37d73287a

    Attaboy, Joey.

    DCSCA (5dd272)

  88. aphrael – First, my sympathy for what you went through with your troubled family. I have a little understanding of that since my parents separated when I was 18, and that had a strong effect on me. And, because I spent some time teaching in a Chicago slum school in the late 1960s, and saw so many damaged kids from broken families. (One of my friends there taught in an elementary school for pregnant girls. She told me that the girl’s mother’s boyfriend was usually the father of the unborn child.)

    But I think you may not understand what I was trying to say. When I say that American families have weakened, I am talking about, among other things, exactly the kind of bad behavior you mention. Too many men (and some women) are not doing right by the people they should love and respect.

    I don’t have any simple, practical answers for that immense problem, and very much doubt that anyone else does, either. I do believe — and this is why I brought it up here — is that the talk of “elites” and “populism” distracts us from thinking about our more important problems.

    (I don’t know which “conservatives” you are talking about. If you want to continue discussing this, please name them, and give us a link or two to their arguments.)

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  89. 85:

    I don’t think illegal immigration is the reason Republicans like me felt betrayed by GOP leaders. I care about illegal immigration but the primary source of concern was the GOP’s inability/refusal to stand up to Obama and the Democrats, especially regarding ObamaCare.

    DRJ (717b74)

  90. I share your concerns about families but we will never recognize, let alone solve, the problem of broken families and absent fathers while the electorate is in the grips of narcissistic movements like populism. Populism is about ME ME ME, not morality, religion, or values that are IMO the answers to your concerns.

    DRJ (717b74)

  91. I would like to hear what you would “change about America and especially the American legal and economic system”. Try to do it without invoking a civil war or “national divorce”.

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 7:17 am

    Why? The track record of your political faction over the last few years, and you personally, shows that you won’t give a s**t and it will just be hand-waved away regardless. I’m not going to indulge you both in answering a question whose response is just going to be strawmanned and treated in bad faith, anyway. Doing so would be nothing more than a pointless exercise in mental masturbation.

    If your side honestly can’t be reflective enough to see how it alienated an entire voting base of a major political party over the course of about ten years, the accusations of grandstanding ring rather hollow.

    Factory Working Orphan (262b9b)

  92. AJ

    I think your point is that Bill Clinton was right that the Constitution requires us to make deals, and is not designed to let one side dominate the other. (Please correct me if that is not correct.)

    I think the Tea Party people in particular felt that the GOP leaders in the early 2000s were promising their members one thing but making contrary deals behind closed doors. It was discouraging.

    DRJ (717b74)

  93. It is certainly hard to come up with thoughtful, meaningful, workable alternatives to the American legal and economic systems, FWO.

    DRJ (717b74)

  94. The San Antonio Police Department does not have any witnesses or tangible evidence in her disappearance, according to The New York Times.

    The only reason the NYT reported this story is because of the girl’s national origin. Otherwise they wouldn’t have noticed it.

    This is another example why the wholesale evacuation of Afghan civilians was wrong. The evacuation from Afghanistan should have been limited to US and allied military and civilian personnel. By making pre-collapse deals with the Taliban and not significantly resisting their takeover, the Afghan population made their choice, should have to live with it.

    Rip Murdock (72b054)

  95. Factory Working Orphan (262b9b) — 9/23/2022 @ 8:52 am

    Another non-response.
    How do you do think you can advance your point of view when you refuse to give one?

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  96. Since the original topic is about Mr. Catoggio, today’s is even better.

    My favorite quote about the war in Ukraine comes not from Volodomyr Zelensky—though the Ukrainian president had some bangers—but from a local official in the country’s south. “We are fighting against f—ing idiots. It’s good for us,” he told the Guardian last month before the Ukrainian army’s lightning advance in the northeast. “But they have nuclear weapons. Russia is like a monkey with a hand grenade. It’s a problem for the whole world.”

    And here’s a solid assessment of Putin’s situation.

    In gambling terms, Russia was betting on an exacta. It needed both prongs to come through to collect its winnings by absorbing Ukraine. If Zelensky rallied the people, if the Ukrainian army was game for a fight, the Anschluss Moscow expected would dissolve into war or insurrection or both. And while experts knew Russia was unprepared to manage an insurrection, even they were surprised by how underprepared it seemed for war. The Kremlin sent into battle an army it believed had been “modernized” only to find it hamstrung by poor logistics, substandard equipment, and an archaic command structure. Where the money appropriated for modernization went is anyone’s guess; presumably it’s living its second life as downpayments for dachas and living expenses for mistresses of apparatchiks inside the Russian government. Whatever its fate, it may be that no Western observer was as shocked to see how little Russia’s defense spending had purchased by way of battlefield effectiveness as Putin himself.

    Russia lost both prongs of its bet. Even so, it might have subdued Ukraine—temporarily—through brute force if not for a third miscalculation, that the West would shrink from confrontation with Russia if Ukrainians had the temerity to resist. The prospect of the war spiraling into a regional, or world, or nuclear conflict would keep the U.S. and NATO sidelined just as it did in Syria, Moscow believed. Some nominal sanctions would be ordered and a few weapons shipped to Kyiv to signal halfhearted solidarity, but Russia’s lopsided advantage in firepower would endure and finally grind Ukraine down.

    The sanctions ordered turned out not to be nominal. The weapons and logistical support Ukraine received from its Western patrons, particularly in the form of intelligence, were not halfhearted. As of three weeks ago, following tens of thousands of Russian casualties and the skillful deployment of U.S. HIMARS systems by Ukrainian troops, the Pentagon whispered to reporters that the two sides were approaching parity on the battlefield. Abrams tanks might be on their way into Ukraine sooner rather than later.

    Americans have grown accustomed to foreign-policy disasters derived from underestimating the difficulties of war but I doubt we’ve ever experienced one this disastrous. Russia misjudged the enemy’s will, its ability, and the extent of its international support by degrees so catastrophic that there’s now a risk that the bulk of its army will break on the fields of Ukraine. If you believe Ukrainian estimates, nearly as many Russian soldiers have died in seven months of combat as American soldiers in 12 years in Vietnam.

    Extricating oneself safely from a situation as precarious as that requires sound judgment and a sober reckoning with one’s failures. Instead the world is confronted by a monkey with a hand grenade, one whose pride is wounded.

    Putin’s answer this week has been amped-up mobilization, but these new forces will be poorly trained, poorly armed, poorly motivated and poorly led.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  97. Classic dialectic is a debate. Marxist dialectic is a harangue, and easily adaptable by changing a few words — bourgeoisie becomes “elites”, “workers” become “voters”, etc. But its chief characteristic is that it has no room for questions or counterarguments.

    The internet has been a big boon to would-be soapbox orators with a poor sense of balance and a weak voice.

    nk (ca45b1)

  98. What’s funny, nk, is that a purported populist is taking the elitist stance that the little people and non-populists do not deserve to hear his brilliance.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  99. What’s funny, nk, is that a purported populist is taking the elitist stance that the little people and non-populists do not deserve to hear his brilliance.

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 9:58 am

    What’s even funnier is that you’ve already been told multiple times in the last decade or so, and still assert that no one has said anything, only because it’s not what you want to hear.

    Factory Working Orphan (0a350f)

  100. Another non-response.
    How do you do think you can advance your point of view when you refuse to give one?

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 9:34 am

    Multiple times over several years: “This is what we want to see the GOP pursue.”

    You during the same time frame: “That’s non-responsive/you lost me/we need to stay the course.”

    Populists: “Fine, here’s why we don’t take your leadership seriously anymore.”

    You:”GAWD WHY COME YOU DUMMIES NO SAY WHAT YOU WANT?”

    Like I said, just like an emotionally abusive spouse.

    Factory Working Orphan (0a350f)

  101. Populism is about ME ME ME, not morality, religion, or values that are IMO the answers to your concerns.

    DRJ (717b74) — 9/23/2022 @ 8:49 am

    You know, Plutarch’s study of the Gracchi brothers is still available. If you want to understand how populism arises, if a history of the Gilded Age in this country isn’t sufficient, you can always go back to the roots of such movements, and how the Optimates always respond when people have the audacity to finally get fed up with them not listening.

    Factory Working Orphan (0a350f)

  102. I understand why populism arises and there are many examples of it in history. I am more interested in examples of populism that resulted in successful governments/nations that lasted.

    DRJ (b21aa3)

  103. The only ones I can think of are Cuba’s Fidel Castro (who needed the support and protection of the Soviet Union to make his rule last), and Venezuela’s leaders since the early 90s (with the benefit of money from oil).

    Populism is about change, which is why Trump, Bernie, and AOC are all populists.

    DRJ (b21aa3)

  104. 57 The San Antonio Police Department does not have any witnesses or tangible evidence in her disappearance, according to The New York Times.

    95. Rip Murdock (72b054) — 9/23/2022 @ 9:32 am

    <The only reason the NYT reported this story is because of the girl’s national origin. Otherwise they wouldn’t have noticed it.

    Possibly true in part, although it’s more likely that what was important was that the story was being pushed by some Afghan community leaders on behalf of the family. This happened on Monday, December 20, 2021. It made the San Antonio Express News on January 13, 2022.

    The New York Times says a case like this is extremely rare.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/22/us/missing-girl-afghanistan-texas.html

    ….Most children who are reported missing are eventually found, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The few who remain missing are often categorized as runaways and, in some cases, they become victims of sex trafficking, experts said.

    The family had actually been living in the United States for about two years at the time.(her father was an Afghan soldier who got one of those Special Immigrant Visas that Donald Trump was slowing down the issuance of.)

    They had travelled back to Afghanistan on a visit to see family and got caught by the sudden complete fall of the Afghan government in August, 2021. The small girl Lina, then 3 (now she should be four) They thought for a moment that maybe she had gotten killed by the same suicide bomber who killed 13 American soldiers. She was knocked down by the blast, and her parents worried till they saw her pen her eyes.

    They were living in a Latino area where many other Afghanis came around that time.

    The police have looked high and low for a body and didn’t find one and she was almost too young to interest a pedophile. Maybe the most likely possibility (the newspaper does not have this idea) is that some man or woman, probably not living in the neighborhood but somewhat familiar with it, stole a child to pretend it was theirs. Unless the mother killed her and somehow disposed of the body. Or did a another mother steal the child and ide the fact all this time, maybe providing it on commission?

    There have been a few cases of these kind of abductions. It would be discovered when she uploads her DNA, which could be 15 or more years from now and the parents and other family members should upload their DNA tall ancestry sites that have them and stay registered.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  105. I am more interested in examples of populism that resulted in successful governments/nations that lasted.

    They usually don’t last but rather induce enough change for major parties to absorb the heat into their ‘platforms’ and it eventually subsides. But it takes time. This latest caldron has been near or at boiling point in the U.S. for a good 30 years now, so it’ll likely churn for several cycles.

    DCSCA (07cf28)

  106. The New York Times reported today:

    ….After a long, rainy and cold week of being cooped up inside their one-bedroom apartment at Villas Del Cabo, the children pleaded with their mother to let them play outside, the Sardars said in an interview.

    What children are we talking about here? They also had a son, younger than the daghterer born sometime not long before Sept 23, 2018, who couldn’t have been more than about 24 months old in December, 2021. Is there an unmentioned older child? Or was there one or more friend’s children cooped up with hers? The New York Times article also speaks of Lina following other youngsters, but does not say whether they already in the playground.

    It was 5:30 p.m. when Ms. Sardar finally relented. She kept a watchful eye steps away from the complex’s playground and a gazebo where Lina, wearing a black jacket, red dress and black shoes, followed other youngsters. Ms. Sardar last remembered seeing the back of Lina’s head and turning away for no more than five minutes.

    When she looked back, a cold fear paralyzed her. Where is my Lina? she asked herself. Time seemed to slow down as she scanned the dozen-plus children unaware of what had just happened.

    Still, she tried not to work herself into a frenzy. Lina must be nearby, she told herself. It was not unusual, after all, for children to run into another Afghan home to use the restroom or take a sip of water during playtime.

    She knocked on every familiar door for about 30 minutes, she recalled in her native Pashto. “I kept thinking Lina would appear,” she said.

    Sometime after 6 p.m., after yelling Lina’s name and not getting a reply, her heart sank. It was then that Ms. Sardar phoned her husband, who was at a relative’s home. “Lina has disappeared,” she told him.

    Mr. Sardar rushed home to find his wife in a state of shock. After seeing that Lina was indeed gone, he called for help.

    He called Lawang Mangal, known to help new arrivals. He told them to call police and said it was already late – more than an hour had passed.

    The police came at about 8 pm (there’s another time gap or discrepancy there. Maybe it was considered a non-emergency call.)

    Chief McManus said his department conducted a thorough search and inspected every square inch, every car driving in and out, even trash dumpsters, he said. The department later brought search and cadaver-sniffing dogs. “Nothing was spared,” he said.

    The F.B.I. assisted the police with additional resources, including diving teams who looked for her in a nearby creek. Still, no Lina.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  107. @62 Same thing trump is a crook and opportunist ;but so was huey long. The democrat party has a long list of these people from eddie edwards to john edwards.

    asset (d39d34)

  108. I have been saying what the poster here today have been finally saying since trump started running except the few like bowers (az) cheney (wy) have been crushed because you are now an unwanted small minority in the party. The populists now have the power and will not return it back to you because you call them names.

    asset (d39d34)

  109. 105: That is a good point.

    I liked some things Trump said at first and I hoped to see change along those lines, but we’ve seen precious little change. It has become about maximizing power for Trump’s benefit, not ours.

    But that’s how populist movements often end up, isn’t it?

    DRJ (717b74)

  110. Power corrupts, asset. It’s always been that way and always will be.

    The American Rule of Law can’t stop all corruption but it helps expose it so we can vote out the corrupt politicians. There are many who need to go back home. Trump is one of them.

    DRJ (717b74)

  111. “I care about illegal immigration but the primary source of concern was the GOP’s inability/refusal to stand up to Obama and the Democrats, especially regarding ObamaCare.”

    I do agree that Obamacare was used as a rallying cry and certainly energized the Right (I know I was energized to win back Congress). The problem is that Obamacare was passed when the DEMs had significant majorities. They had 60 votes in the Senate until Ted Kennedy was replaced. Now I think it was tragic that the DEMs sought a partisan path forward in an arena that was a big chunk of the economy. It pretty much ensured that the GOP would recover. But what exactly was realistic in 2012?

    The problem is that the GOP did not get close enough to 60 votes to repeal Obamacare uner normal order. And once Trump was elected they had fewer votes and could at best de-fund it through reconcilliation. And despite having all 3 branches and Trump at its head, the GOP couldn’t even come up with an alternative piece of legislation that its own caucus could get behind. It was a huge embarrassment in my eyes. Ten years of complaining and no real alternative.

    So what was the 2012 GOP supposed to do exactly with Obama there to veto a full repeal? This is the great mystery to me in terms of this supposed righteous indigation from the base mestastasizing in Trump. It’s not really based on anything the GOP could have actually done; it’s based on people being spun up by people whose job it is to spin them up. If there was a problem in the GOP circa 2015, how can one claim that Trump was somehow the solution. The GOP lost Congress and the Presidency….and couldn’t even get a wall.

    AJ_Liberty (242c56)

  112. @109. I just see him as just a vessel that finally managed to ‘break through the blockade’ and sail to victory… [I don’t believe he ever expected to beat HRC to begin with– and he did lose the popular vote.] But when he’s gone, another one will come along and populists will use them to move the flag forward. They’ve tasted winning now, too– and seen what returning to the 20th century swampiness brings. But both parties as currently leadership-structured are in jeopardy and no podium is safe. Some smart, younger party pol in one of them will eventually wise up and embrace some of the populist pressures w/a hybrid POV to grease some change and reduce the heat of the passions– but it will take some time. But my personal vote is committed to Haley. I feel she’s the right age, gender, ethnicity, experience and temperament w/a great personal story for the times– but it’s a hard sailing in The Donald’s wake.

    DCSCA (276538)

  113. Republicans controlled Congress or held the House or Senate for many years, AJ, except during the Obama years. The GOP leaders were unwilling to stand up to Obama for fear of being labeled racist or appearing unpopular.

    DRJ (717b74)

  114. DRJ, if you have a 54-46 majority, can you pass anything on a partisan basis? How do you repeal something when you can’t make cloture? Obama signed health care reform when the DEMs held big majorities following the housing collapse and war fatigue at the end of Bush’s 2nd term.

    It’s also unclear what it means to stand up to Obama. Was he supposed to be impeached? What exactly did Obama get away with post 2010? He certainly did things policy wise that I disagreed with and he was arogant as heck, but he was pretty much neutralized once the GOP controlled the House. Then it was just rhetorical sword play. I’m still not grasping why the GOP base felt it was so disrespected by conventional GOP politicians like Romney and Ryan, that it somehow justifies Trump or….in essence….burning it all down. I still just see manufactured outrage of people whipping each other up. What am I missing?

    AJ_Liberty (242c56)

  115. Funny, because you dodged DRJ’s question while accusing him of a “rather clumsy dodge”.

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 6:05 am

    Isn’t DRJ a “her?”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  116. Yes but I like t think it doesn’t matter online. Ideas are what matter.

    DRJ (717b74)

  117. DRJ, I forgot. Mea culpa.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  118. #116 DRJ – Not that it seems important to you, but should we say Doctor J, when we pronounce your screen name, or pronounce the letters one by one: D-R-J?

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  119. You during the same time frame: “That’s non-responsive/you lost me/we need to stay the course.”

    Well, that’s just a flat-out lie, FWO.
    I’ll note you’re still non-responsive and, over the course of years, you can’t or won’t pluck a single golden nugget from your body of work. Moving on.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  120. My name here is my maiden name initials. So no Dr J.

    Kevin Williamson is exploring elitism and populism, too.

    DRJ (717b74)

  121. #120 Thanks. And let me add that when I come to this site and see that you have made a comment, it always makes me more likely to read a thread. (Which isn’t true for every regular commenter.)

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  122. There needs to be compromise where each sides gets some of what they want. We no longer talk about that (neither side). We somehow believe that we can ram through legislation and we are moving toward that with talk of eliminating the filibuster rules. […]

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 9/23/2022 @ 8:16 am

    ISTM that one of the primary culprits, if not the main one, for that trend is gerrymandering. More gerrymandered districts → more extremist/absolutist legislators → less political power in the non-extremist/non-absolutist middle where “common ground” and “compromise” aren’t dirty words. And the more demagogues there are on both sides telling their constituents that governing institutions are a cabal of elites stealing their money, jobs, and adrenochrome, the more acceptable it becomes for the electorate to adopt those views and echo them back as demands on candidates otherwise inclined to boring, grownup governance. In short, the bi-directional echo between candidates and voters turns gerrymandering’s empowering of a relative handful of populist extremists into the empowering of a whole bunch of populist extremists, which in turn shrinks the influence of sensible, compromise-minded institutionalists.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  123. @114 ryan & romney were for free trade and “legal” immigration the populist base was not. Trump was not or at least pretended to be not better then clinton did.

    asset (b13afc)

  124. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate that a lot.

    DRJ (717b74)

  125. @122 18% of the populition in 26 states control 52 senate seats and 82% of the population control 48 senate seats. All it will take is a leftist to come along and run on the majority in this country ruling or else! This is why the corporate stooges in the democrat establishment spend more time fighting the left then they do trump ;but you would not know this watching the corporate media.

    asset (b13afc)

  126. #124 You’re welcome, DRJ.

    Jim Miller (85fd03)

  127. Well, that’s just a flat-out lie, FWO.
    I’ll note you’re still non-responsive and, over the course of years, you can’t or won’t pluck a single golden nugget from your body of work. Moving on.

    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 9/23/2022 @ 4:45 pm

    You mean like the GOP did from you?

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  128. Kevin Williamson is exploring elitism and populism, too.

    DRJ (717b74) — 9/23/2022 @ 4:59 pm

    Thank you for that link, DRJ. Great article. I suspect the egos of would-be populists are too big to appreciate it.

    With Allahpundit and now Williamson joining The Dispatch, subscribing has become irresistible.

    By the way, I echo Jim Miller’s sentiment about you.

    I know gender shouldn’t matter, but I still appreciate having a few women here. You, Radegunda, Nic, and of course dear Dana, class up this place.

    norcal (da5491)

  129. https://dailycaller.com/2022/09/23/dow-jones-bear-market/

    The stock market closed out a week of intense losses with the Dow Jones falling more than 750 points Friday, entering bear market territory amid a wave of investor fears.

    At time of writing, the index had, at its lowest point, fallen more than 2.7% during the day to around 29,300 points, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 down by 2.7% and 2.64% respectively at time of writing. With the Dow Jones officially falling more than 20% from its recent peak in June, stocks will have entered a slump known by investors as a “bear market” if the losses hold when trading ends Friday, according to CNBC. (RELATED: Stocks Stay Volatile As Recession Fears Loom)

    The Nasdaq was down by 30.92% this year, with the S&P 500 down 22.98% this year, as of close of business yesterday, according to data from MarketWatch.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  130. I know gender shouldn’t matter, …

    If all you pierced-nose latte-sucking tofu-chomping holistic vegan Millennial wokes would call it by the correct term, which is “sex”, then you might understand why it matters. Sex is biology; gender is grammar.

    nk (c8df1d)

  131. 18% of the populition in 26 states control 52 senate seats and 82% of the population control 48 senate seats. All it will take is a leftist to come along and run on the majority in this country ruling or else!

    asset (b13afc) — 9/23/2022 @ 6:51 pm

    And when they win power, they will find out what you clearly don’t know.

    “…no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”
    — US Constitution, Article V

    Demosthenes (c2131d)

  132. The populists now have the power and will not return it back to you because you call them names.

    asset (d39d34) — 9/23/2022 @ 1:15 pm

    Yet you call us names, and expect us to fall in line behind you, because…

    Demosthenes (c2131d)

  133. asset: “ryan & romney were for free trade and “legal” immigration the populist base was not”

    Most anti-trade populism, be it Bernie, Trump or your beloved AOC, is premised on some horribly ignorant assumptions. First, they believe that governments through tariffs and via rules for picking winners and losers are better at managing complex economic activity than markets. Both populist extremes are looking for political boogiemen to rile up the masses…..AOC uses multinational corporations while Trump uses dastardly foreigners. Rarely is it based on sound analysis, but it is readily weaponized to “other” your political opponent.

    Second, free trade may reduce jobs in inefficient industries, but it also frees up resources to create jobs in efficient industries, boosting overall wages and improving living standards. Protectionism, in contrast, attempts to protect jobs that the market can not sustain, at the expense of more innovative industries.

    Third, much of the change in the labor force is not the result of free trade but of innovation. Be it automation or things like apps on mobile devices. Think about all of the devices that are being displaced by phone apps, from calculators to flashlights to walkmen to video recorders. Using protectionism to “save” a job just leads to higher prices and, like for the steel industry, just adds cost for downstream industries.

    Fourth, Trump populism promotes the foolish idea that trade deficits are bad for Americans. At worst, they are neutral. Money that leaves the US to purchase oversea products must return as capital investment. Meaning, America is still viewed as an attractive place for investment. This further means more new businesses, the expansion of existing businesses, more R&D to continue pushing the cutting edge, and higher productivity.

    Both the progressive and Trump populists play on ignorance and the hope that their “guy” will gratiously “save” their lagging industry, by outsmarting the market and besting their designated villains…multinationals or foreigners. I’m not going to argue that there is no role for government in helping workers transition from dying industries or that there are no critical US industries that require some level of protectionism (think IC chip fabs), it’s just that most of this is just another form of grift…but people do fall for it…..

    AJ_Liberty (242c56)

  134. Great comment, AJ

    DRJ (717b74)

  135. McCain and co. obstructed any repeal. So long as the party has people like that in positions of power -people who seek the praise of the press to such an extent that they are willing to break longstanding commitments to their voters- then the party will fail to achieve anything of substance, and voters will reasonably look for alternatives to the party establishment options.

    Of course, there will be more chances in the future. Personnel is policy, whether in an agency, Congress, or the courts. Fix the personnel and you can fix the policy.

    mikeybates (bc7201)

  136. McCain & some other Republicans blew up the repeal of Obamacare because Trump and the party he controls had no viable replacement.
    All we heard from our policy-lightweight populist president was “two weeks” and no actual details.
    As commander-in-chief, Trump had the resources to bring in the “personnel” to craft a plan, but instead he chose to string American along with yet another lie for the purpose of getting reelected.
    Maybe McCain wasn’t ready go along with a fraud “plan” on an issue as important as Americans’ healthcare.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  137. @135, your civics is a bit rusty. The House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act 217-213. The Senate passed its own version called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. There were significant differences in how the two bills would cap Medicaid spending. Both were in the neighborhood of proposing $800B in cuts to health spending. Portman added a amendment to add back $100B to the BCRA bill to gain votes. BCRA was rejected 43-57 with “no” votes from 9 Republicans. McCain voted for that version of the bill that actually needed 60 votes to pass because of certain provisions (it was not solely about revenue), so that one was 17 votes short.

    Rand Paul offered a bill to repeal Obamacare and punt the replacement 2 years down stream. That one needed 51 votes and was rejected 45-55 (with McCain voting “no”). Finally, there was the “skinny repeal” which would get rid of the mandate but leave much of the rest of the law in place (no cap on spending). This one got 49 votes with McCain, Murkowski and Collins voting “no”. Still, the differences between AHCA and the “skinny repeal” were stark and would have required significant compromises in Conference to pass the Senate.

    So Trump et al claiming the GOP was 1 vote away from repealing Obamacare stretches the truth. It’s also a stretch to say that the GOP had something workable to replace Obamacare with. McCain’s biggest complaint was that the Senate was not following Regular Order. Though he probably didn’t hate giving Trump the middle finger….and with an incurable tumor diagnosis….he probably wasn’t in the mood to strip Billions out of health care as his last act. I’m sure Trump is busily working on an alternative heath care plan down in Florida because he cares so much about policy.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  138. The bill on the floor passed the House and would have gone to conference. If McCain opposed the bill for substantive reasons, he could have demanded changes. Undoubtedly it would have been a long, difficult process. But he didn’t seem as though he wanted to get to yes on any bill- as illustrated when he said was that he wouldn’t vote for any bill that Democrats also opposed. No Democrat has ever attached a similar condition to their vote- which makes sense, since the condition is absurd. It would have been helpful, I think, if McCain had informed his voters that this was his position, instead of running ads claiming that he was “leading the fight against Obamacare.” And of course the CBO’s estimate the people would “lose” health care was based on assumptions about the mandate that have since been proved false.

    You can see here the difference between someone like McCain and someone like Manchin: Manchin, despite representing an overwhelmingly red state, wanted to get to yes on his party’s priorities, and genuinely negotiated with his party leaders in good faith in order to do so. McCain, representing a purple state with a red lean, apparently did not want to do so. This sort of behavior is exactly why Republican voters turn to people like Trump; the preference of course is to blame the voters rather than those in whom they foolishly place their trust.

    Anyway, it’s not that big of a deal. As I said above, personnel is policy. We’ll have another bite, with better personnel.

    mikeybates (c55113)

  139. The bill on the floor passed the House and would have gone to conference.

    Irrelevant. The GOP had no plan to replace Obamacare with a “better” plan, there was no valid replacement to discuss, and Trump promised a better plan as a candidate. Instead, Trump was willing put millions of Americans’ health at risk for the sake of his tender reelection-seeking ego.
    Oh, and this isn’t about the difference between McCain and Manchin, who are both cut from the same cross-the-aisle cloth, it’s about the difference between Biden and Trump.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  140. Trump populism promotes the foolish idea that trade deficits are bad for Americans… Money that leaves the US to purchase oversea products must return as capital investment. Meaning, America is still viewed as an attractive place for investment.

    Must?? Must??? ROFLMAO:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVd98F6JLVc&t=1s

    DCSCA (c8d5c0)

  141. Does the correct policy result matter more or less than ensuring that we don’t become a corrupt authoritarian state in which the government is the plaything and toy of whoever is able to capture it at any given time?

    Please explain how a electoral vote law that permits disqualifying the constitutional winner helps further democracy and the rule of law. Please explain how disallowing electoral objections on the basis of “they cheated!” helps to further democracy and the rule of law.

    I don’t view the Trumpist objections to the Jan 6th vote count as particularly alarming. I DO view Trump’s position regarding the VP’s powers to be alarming. Also hysterically stupid, and Pence thought so, too. But the challenge to ballots cast in a rather unusual election? Nah. No more than a Congressman introducing an amendment to ban Christians from government would be. Those things don’t go anywhere.

    In nearly any assembly, you need two people to bring up any motion, and crazy motions, should they get a second, don’t pass anyway (and there is always the motion to object to consideration).

    So, except for the codification of the VP’s narrow powers, I find most of the rest of the Electoral Count Act revision to be opportunistic politics.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  142. At what point should a candidate’s illiberalism become disqualifying?

    NOW we are on the path to authoritarianism. No doubt in pursuit of niceness.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  143. The workplace has changed and lifetime employment at one company isn’t the norm now.

    Many of us have outlived companies we worked for.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  144. Tabriz is an Iranian city of 1.7 million.

    Video shows Iranian security officers side with the protesters in Tabriz, North Iran, earlier today.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  145. I understand why populism arises and there are many examples of it in history. I am more interested in examples of populism that resulted in successful governments/nations that lasted.

    Looking around and seeing no hands….

    What about the United States of America? Founded in a populist (armed!) revolution. Repeatedly swinging between populism and elitism (see the elections of 1824 & 1828, 1904, 1932, 1964, 1980 and 2016).

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  146. Tabriz is an Iranian city of 1.7 million.

    Paul,

    My wife has been facilitating some 12 step groups in Iran, via Zoom. The people she’s been working with have kept her informed about what is going on. The anti-government feelings appear to run deep (that people would admit to it in front of other people in a Zoom format is telling). Right now, the Internet is closed down so there’s no new information, but this is probably a bad period for the mullahs.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  147. Good point, Kevin M. But we did not remain populists because it is not a stabke form of government. I think the Founders established a form of government designed to minimize the impact of populist movements, which is why Trump has to object/fight so many of our established systems, laws, and traditions. IMO populism is not a longterm solution.

    DRJ (3800a4)

  148. “Populism” is not the opposite of democracy. It is the canary in the coal mine. When the common man rises from his common pursuits, it’s because the elites are not serving him well, and haven’t been doing that for some time.

    It’s like a recession, or a market correction, or a forest fire. You’re right that if it goes on too long it’s destructive, but from time to time it’s needed.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  149. We have a system that doesn’t (yet) force any belief system on candidates. Instead it just makes it very hard to be an authoritarian.

    We’ve gotten away from that protection some by insulating the regulatory state from Congress, giving the Executive an unusual degree of power and now trying to rein that in with the Courts, which they were never really designed for. See my various rants about INS v Chadha. But whatever.

    Trying to narrow the qualifications for office to “acceptable” limits will not avoid a populist reaction. Instead it will guarantee it, and probably make it more extreme when it happens.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  150. “When the common man rises from his common pursuits, it’s because the elites are not serving him well”

    But populism gets rooted in oversimplification. The wall for instance. The wall is an oversimplification of the tough decisions that are required for all that must be done to better regulate our borders. Blaming trade is another. There’s no great way to move from inefficient to more efficient industries, but I think experience shows that the market is superior to self-serving politicians picking winners and losers.

    Populism also tends to miss bigger structural problems like accumulating debt. Debt that will realistically require higher taxes, reduced benefits, and more modest military and social spending. The great horde rarely cries for more shared sacrifice. Populism almost always argues for more redistribution or convenient scapegoats, and is premised on poor reasoning, like blaming the trade deficit.

    In my view, this round of populism is in large measure manufactured. In part by social media and partisan media enabling people to stew in negativity and unrealistic expectations. Many of us now want an authoritarian because of how much we hate the other side and exaggerate problems. We want a bully to give us what we want….and NOW. We used to be busy living our lives, raising our families, building careers, and being involved in our communities. Too busy to follow mindless tweets. Too often now we’re sitting in front of a screen getting spun up by people we really don’t know and who might be intentionally and malevolently spinning us up.

    The problem is probably us. If we want better results from our politics, then we probably need to create an environment where better individuals are willing to serve, where compromise is not a dirty word, and where we don’t view half the population as enemies of the state. It’s hard to look inward and see yourself as part of the problem. Populism avoids uncomfortable truths….

    AJ_Liberty (242c56)

  151. Well said, AJ. Authoritarians do not embrace compromise as it is seen as a weakness. Diplomacy is for the elite and the wafflers. We are at a point where half of the country views political strength as using a heavy hand to get the desired outcome. But to govern well, it is essential the one in charge be able to negotiate, engage with those on the other side of the aisle, form coalitions, and always maintain the best interest of the country as a whole, not just the people who adore you. And certainly not how it benefits said leader personally or financially. We are at such a point of extreme division that I don’t know if any cohesiveness is possible. I remember naively thinking that the pandemic would put an end to the angry divide as Americans collectively fought against a common enemy, but it sure didn’t work out that way. So, while this wave of populism has been fomented and encouraged by a master who understood how to tap into a growing resentment, it’s now so embedded that the ideas you state are likely to be seen as nothing more than brushing off the real roots of their frustration, as opposed to being serious about the concerns.

    Dana (1225fc)

  152. “it is essential the one in charge be able to negotiate, engage with those on the other side of the aisle, form coalitions, and always maintain the best interest of the country as a whole”

    Yeah it’s frustrating to see so few on the Right wanting an actual statesman….wanting someone smart, thoughtful, and humble enough to understand that the position is ultimately one of service….a sacred trust to bring the nation together and be the adult in the room while others mercilessly play politics. Now what’s wanted is a “fighter” and someone who will take the culture war to the other side, without any sense of how that continues to lower the bar on civility and makes politics even more toxic. The thinking is entirely short term and fueled by rage media and bubble thinking.

    It’s unclear what the answer is because it’s profitable to be divisive. People hopped up on rage want to see results even though more and more divisive leadership will just make those results more elusive. The only response then is to sacrifice rules and institutions to bludgeon your result. If you can no longer even talk respectfully and genuinely to the other side, then all that is left is ever-escalating confrontation. That realization should not lead to stockpiling of guns, but instead a come-to-Jesus moment to reassess. I still fear that something will have to break before people have that moment….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  153. Populism also tends to miss bigger structural problems like accumulating debt. Debt that will realistically require higher taxes, reduced benefits, and more modest military and social spending. The great horde rarely cries for more shared sacrifice. Populism almost always argues for more redistribution or convenient scapegoats, and is premised on poor reasoning, like blaming the trade deficit.

    ROFLMAOPIP. Bought any U.S. issued Ukrainian War Bonds lately??? Paid off tyat 20-plus year Afghan War bill yet??? It’s a fool’s errand- nay, Royalist cocktail chatter, to underestimate the strength and power of populism, where it is rooted and what continues to fuel its growth. Right now, it’s the Royalists themselves who keep watering and feeding it.

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (fefb55)

  154. The populace is becoming more violent and angry about everything, across the political spectrum. To them, it is not a time for restraint or values, let alone manners. We even see it in the rhetoric here at this website. Politics and, it seems, their lives are a source of cynical joking or derogatory taunting.

    DRJ (3800a4)

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